Seasonal Snowmelt Stream
May 23, 2005
While hiking early last month, I came across this seasonal stream during the final stages of snowmelt, high in the hills near Summit, New York (about 50 miles or 80 km west of Albany). It's located in part of the Eminence State Forest and forms the uppermost reaches of a small watershed that eventually drains into a steep-sided hollow. As the moss covered rocks can attest, this area stays damp throughout most of the year. The fascinating landscape found in this area was altered by the final stages of the Wisconsin glacial period. Small ephemeral streams such as the one pictured here feed many of the vernal ponds and pools that give local amphibians a place to lay eggs. They're also vital as water sources for wild game, such as deer, turkey and coyote. In fact, I've seen a black bear no more than fifty yards (about 45 m) from this exact location.
The above stream can be found on this map by starting at the SW corner of the quad. Find the word BLENHEIM. The road that goes north between the L and E crosses this stream at about 1,975 feet. This picture was taken near the 1,800-foot contour.